21 of the Best Azaleas for Your Garden and Yard

Beloved for their fun funnel-shaped flowers and bold splashes of vivid color, azaleas are woody shrubs that thrive in semi-shade, adding a sassy punch to the shadows.

They make a tidy anchor piece in beds, islands, and foundations and are simply mesmerizing when mass planted.

They’re also striking for barriers, borders, butterfly and cottage gardens, flowering hedges, rockeries, woodland edges, zen gardens, and beside ponds or reflecting pools.

Plus, they make superb specimens in patio containers and are outstanding as bonsai trees as well.

A close up vertical image of different colored azaleas blooming in red, pink, and white. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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Many varieties are repeat bloomers, giving a second wave of flowers after the first spring flush – often starting in midsummer and lasting until the arrival of heavy frost.

Then there’s fragrance and fall colors too!

Several cultivars are not fragrant, but many have deep and delightful aromas, sweetly floral or spicy, like cloves.

The deciduous types typically feature bright, traditional fall colors in their foliage. And many of the evergreens take on dark, bronzed hues of burgundy and red in cold temperatures.

Plus, they attract bees and other pollinators – butterflies and hummingbirds are big fans of the nectar-rich flowers.

A close up horizontal image of red azalea flowers with a butterfly feeding on the blossoms, pictured on a soft focus background.

Now, azaleas are a bit particular about their soil and planting site – which you can read all about in our azalea growing guide.

But if you give them what they want from the beginning, you’ll enjoy lovely annual returns for years to come.

To get you started, here are 21 of the best azaleas for your home, garden, and yard!

Bonsai

Many azalea cultivars make spectacular bonsai trees, adding their long-lasting and delightful color to indoor settings.

1. Duc De Rohan

A beautiful, upright evergreen with large, salmon-pink flowers, ‘Duc De Rohan’ is loved for its extended flowering time of early to late spring.

A close up vertical image of ‘Duc De Rohan’ azalea trained as a bonsai tree in a small black ceramic pot pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Duc De Rohan’

This slow growing southern indica hybrid cultivar grows more wide than tall, making it a good choice for the training and pruning required for bonsai cultivation.

And regular root trimming every three to four years keeps growth restrained and compact.

Potted and trained ‘Duc De Rohan’ bonsai trees are available at Bonsai Boy.

2. Obtusum

A dwarf evergreen with a mounding habit, this member of the Obtusum group features white to pale pink flowers with deeper pink toward the edges, and typically blooms from early spring through summer.

A close up square image of an Obtusum azalea with light pink flowers trained as a bonsai tree in a small brown ceramic pot set on a white surface.

‘Obtusum’

A compact, spreading shrub, plants grow slightly broader than their height. This shape lends itself well for use in borders, hedges, and foundations as well as bonsai cultivation.

Trimmed and trained ‘Obtusum’ bonsai trees in containers are available at Bonsai Boy.

Deciduous

Deciduous varieties are usually hardier in cold regions than evergreens and make a good choice for northern gardens.

3. Electric Lights Double Pink

From the University of Minnesota’s cold hardy Electric Lights™ series, which also features a red variety, ‘Double Pink’ has high ornamental value.

The flowers are delightful, with fluffy double petals of blush pink and an appealing spicy fragrance.

Plants flower in early spring, and the light green foliage gives an extra season of fall interest in shades of burgundy.

Stunning as a centerpiece in island beds, flowering hedges, and foundations, try planting Electric Lights™ ‘Double Pink’ near sidewalks and under windows to catch the lovely fragrance.

A close up square image of Electric Lights™ ‘Double Pink’ azaleas growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine on a soft focus background.

Electric Lights™ ‘Double Pink’

Shrubs grow six to seven feet tall with a spread of four to five feet. This variety is hardy in Zones 4-7.

Plants in #3 containers are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

4. Fireball

For an explosion of fiery blooms in late spring, ‘Fireball’ delivers loads of flowers in brilliant shades of flame red and orange – ideal for brightening the semi-shade garden.

The foliage first emerges as bronze, turns to green, and in fall gives a pretty show in hues of bronzed purple red. This is a knockout specimen in beds, foundation plantings, shrubscapes, and mass planted.

A close up square image of ‘Fireball’ bright red azalea pictured in sunshine on a soft focus background.

‘Fireball’

Shrubs have a rounded growth habit and reach four to six feet tall at maturity with a spread of four to five feet. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Plants in #3 containers are available through Nature Hills Nursery.

5. Gibraltar

A multi-award winner honored by the Royal Horticultural Society and the American Rhododendron Society, ‘Gibraltar’ features large trusses of dazzling, blaze-orange trumpets with a sweet, fruity fragrance that light up the mid to late spring garden.

With narrow, bright green leaves and a round growth habit, it’s ideal planted in islands or raised beds, foundations, flowering hedges, and large containers – splendid for the patio!

A close up square image of ‘Gibraltar’ azalea with bright red flowers growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Gibraltar’

The tidy shrubs have a height and spread of four to five feet. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

6. Klondyke

Another RHS and ARS award winner, ‘Klondyke’ boasts multiple trusses of sweetly fragrant and vibrant flowers – golden yellow with orange-tinged edges.

The light green foliage has a burnished, coppery hue that deepens to dark bronze in fall.

A mid to late spring bloomer, the mounding form makes an excellent accent in beds, borders, flowering hedges, foundations, or at the edge of reflecting pools and water gardens.

A close up square image of bright orange ‘Klondyke’ azaleas growing in the garden.

‘Klondyke’

Shrubs grow six to eight feet tall with a spread of four to six feet and are hardy in Zones 5-8.

Potted plants are available in four-inch containers from Spring Hill Nurseries via Home Depot.

7. Lemon Lights

From the University of Minnesota’s cold-hardy series, ‘Lemon Lights’ is covered in masses of lively, lemon yellow flowers with a light, sweetly floral fragrance.

And the bright green foliage provides fall interest in shades of burgundy and purple.

Shrubs flower in mid to late spring, with a light rebloom in early fall. A beautiful choice in mixed perennial beds, mass planted in shrubscapes, or in large patio pots.

A close up square image of yellow ‘Lemon Lights’ azalea growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Lemon Lights’

Plants grow four to five feet high and spread three to four feet. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

8. Mollis Hybrid

Mollis hybrids deliver spectacular clusters of brightly hued, lightly rumpled flowers in the late spring to early summer garden.

The tidy shrubs feature light to bright green leaves that give fantastic fall colors of gold, orange, purple, and red.

Bloom time is from late spring to early summer. These make a handsome addition to beds, cottage gardens, foundation plantings, shrub borders, or zen gardens – and they’re simply magnificent when mass planted!

A close up square image of bright pink Mollis hybrid azaleas growing in the garden with foliage in soft focus in the background.

Mollis Hybrid Pink

Plants grow four to six feet tall with a spread of four to five feet, and are hardy in Zones 5-8.

Plugs are available at the Arbor Day Store in pink, red, and white.

9. Pink-A-Boo

For a shade of pink that really pops in the mid to late spring garden, the exquisite flowers of ‘Pink-A-Boo’ are unparalleled – bright, cerise pink with a lovely tangerine flare on the upper petals.

And they’re fragrant too, with a sweetly spicy aroma.

The foliage emerges with a burnished maroon hue and matures to bright green. A must-have to brighten mixed beds, borders, containers, hedges, and woodland edges.

A close up square image of 'Pink-A-Boo' azaleas pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Pink-A-Boo’

Shrubs have a rounded growth of four to six feet and are hardy in Zones 5-8.

Potted plants are available at Home Depot.

Evergreen

Evergreen cultivars are well-suited for warmer regions although many will behave as semi-evergreens in cold temperatures.

10. Bloom-A-Thon Series

Bloom-A-Thon® is a reblooming series, giving a majestic first flush of flowers in early to mid-spring and repeating in early summer until frost.

Plants do well in deeper shade than many varieties, but they are heat tolerant as well, and can take up to six hours of full sun.

This type is a good choice for low borders, containers, flowering hedges, foundations, and woodland fringes.

A close up square image of Bloom-A-Thon hot pink azaleas growing by a wooden fence in the garden.

Bloom-A-Thon® Hot Pink

The compact plants have a height and spread of two to four feet, and the disease-resistant foliage maintains its deep green color all year. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery in hot pink, red, and white.

11. Bollywood

An azalea with variegated foliage! ‘Bollywood’ features handsome silver and dark green leaves that make a lovely backdrop for the lively watermelon pink flowers.

Blooming from late spring into summer, they make a striking addition to mixed beds, low borders, butterfly and cottage gardens, containers, rockeries, and foundations.

A close up square image of bright red 'Bollywood' azaleas surrounded by variegated foliage.

‘Bollywood’

A charming, compact semi-evergreen with a mounding form, plants grow one to two feet tall and spread out two to three feet. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

12. Cascade

A true showstopper, in early spring ‘Cascade’ is covered with clouds of ruffled, snow white flowers that are lightly accented with chartreuse to peachy rose freckles.

Its low, spreading form is well-suited for foundations, islands, raised beds, rockeries, and naturalized settings. And in winter, the medium dark green foliage turns an attractive yellowish green.

A close up square image of white 'Casade' azaleas growing in a sunny garden with foliage in soft focus in the background.

‘Cascade’

Plants grow three to four feet tall and spread four to six feet. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Container plants are available at Home Depot and Nature Hills Nursery.

13. Chinzan

A charming dwarf variety, ‘Chinzan’ is covered in masses of intense hot-to-salmon pink flowers in the early spring and reblooms from midsummer through fall.

These compact, mounding shrubs are perfect for low borders, containers, foundations, islands, or planted en masse.

A close up square image of bright pink ‘Chinzan’ azalea flowers growing in the backyard.

‘Chinzan’

Shrubs grow two to three feet tall and spread three to four feet. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

Container plants are available at Home Depot.

14. Conversation Piece

Sure to get people talking, the impressive tri-colored flowers of ‘Conversation Piece’ feature pale rose petals with whitish edges and magenta streaks.

Plants bloom in late spring and maintain a steady show of flowers through summer and fall.

The compact, mounded form makes an excellent addition to beds, borders, butterfly gardens, containers, and rockeries.

A close up square image of pink and white bicolored 'Conversation Piece' azaleas growing in a shady spot pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Conversation Piece’

Plants have a rounded growth of two to three feet and are hardy in Zones 6-9.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

15. Encore Series

The Encore® series of azaleas are loved for their extended bloom time – the first flush produces masses of flowers in mid-spring. And after a brief rest, they rebloom from midsummer until frost.

Several also offer the bonus of colorful fall foliage that turns shades of bronze, burgundy, purple, and red in cold temperatures. And Encore® plants take full sun better than many other cultivars.

A close up square image of a bright pink Encore® ‘Autumn Carnation’ azlaea pictured on a soft focus background.

Encore® ‘Autumn Carnation’

Well-suited for perennial beds, containers, foundations, and hedges, shrubs have a tidy, rounded growth that reaches four to five feet high with a four-foot spread. Dwarf cultivars have a height and spread of three feet. Plants are hardy in Zones 6-10.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery in bubblegum pink (‘Autumn Carnation’), deep coral (‘Autumn Embers’), and two-tone pink and mauve (‘Autumn Twist’).

16. Flame Creeper

Compact and colorful, ‘Flame Creeper’ is prized for its masses of small, coral-to-cherry red flowers that bloom in late spring and continue through fall.

Petite with a rounded form, plants are ideally suited to low barriers, containers, foundations, ground covers, and rockeries.

The attractive mid-green foliage takes on a pleasing reddish hue in winter.

A close up square image of bright red ‘Flame Creeper’ azaleas pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Flame Creeper’

Shrubs grow two to three feet high with a similar spread. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

Container plants are available at Home Depot.

17. Formosa

Bold, large, and showy, ‘Formosa’ flowers are a delightful lavender pink with magenta freckles and streaks on the upper petals.

Flowering in early spring, they often rebloom throughout summer and fall.

The large plants have a robust, rounded form that make fantastic flowering hedges, privacy screens, or mass plantings.

A close up square image of the center of a bright pink ‘Formosa’ azalea with water droplets on the petals.

‘Formosa’

Shrubs are known to handle heat well and reach a mature height and spread of six to eight feet. Hardy in Zones 8-9, or possibly 10.

Plugs are available at the Arbor Day Store and container plants can be purchased from Nature Hills Nursery.

18. George L. Taber

A prolific rebloomer, ‘George L. Taber’ has delightful orchid pink flowers with a spray of magenta freckles on the upper petals. Shrubs are covered with flowers in early spring and give a second, lighter flush in early fall.

A large cultivar, it makes a solid choice for foundations, hedges, mass plantings, privacy screens, and naturalized areas.

A close up square image of pink and white bicolored ‘George L. Taber’ azaleas with bright green foliage fading to soft focus in the background.

‘George L. Taber’

Shrubs grow six to eight feet tall with a spread of five to six feet. Hardy in Zones 8-10.

Container plants are available at Home Depot and Nature Hills Nursery.

19. Hot Shot Girard

Dazzling in the mid-spring garden, ‘Hot Shot Girard’ features masses of large and ruffled chili red flowers that smother the dark green foliage – which also has an orangey red tint in fall and winter.

The compact, mounding growth is ideal for low barriers, borders, patio containers, cottage gardens, and rockeries.

A close up square image of bright red ‘Hot Shot Girard’ azalea flowers pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Hot Shot Girard’

Plants have a height and spread of two to three feet and are hardy in Zones 6-9.

Container plants are available at Nature Hills Nursery.

20. Karen

With rich, lavender-pink blossoms flared with magenta, ‘Karen’ makes a striking statement in the mid-spring landscape.

The deep green foliage takes on attractive coppery red hues in fall and winter, adding late season interest.

The trim, rounded growth makes a good choice for borders, containers, cottage gardens, foundations, and woodland fringes.

A close up square image of bright pink ‘Karen’ azalea blossoms growing outside a residence.

‘Karen’

Shrubs have a tidy height and spread of three to four feet. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Container plants are available at Home Depot.

21. Midnite Flare

An ARS winner, ‘Midnite Flare’ sizzles in the landscape with a profusion of fiery, crimson red flowers in early spring.

The lustrous deep green foliage has a light bronze cast and turns a deep wine red in fall.

A close up square image of the bright red flowers of ‘Midnite Flare’ azalea.

‘Midnite Flare’

Charming when planted in borders, foundations, low screens, naturalized settings, and beside ponds or reflecting gardens, shrubs grow three to four feet tall with a spread of three to five feet, and are hardy in Zones 6-9.

Container plants are available at Home Depot.

Impressive, Showy Performers

A colorful addition to any landscape, azaleas are easy to grow and last for years.

They’re reliable and low maintenance, with impressive, showy performances that improve as they age.

A close up horizontal image of pink azaleas growing in a shady spot in the garden.
Photo by Matt Suwak.

And with such a vast selection of cultivars, there’s one – or several – sure to be suitable for all your garden needs!

Have you decided which azaleas to add to your yard? Let us know how you use them in the comments section below.

And for more information about growing azaleas in your garden, be sure to check these articles next:

About Lorna Kring

A writer, artist, and entrepreneur, Lorna is also a long-time gardener who got hooked on organic and natural gardening methods at an early age. These days, her vegetable garden is smaller to make room for decorative landscapes filled with color, fragrance, art, and hidden treasures. Cultivating and designing the ideal garden spot is one of her favorite activities – especially for gathering with family and friends for good times and good food (straight from the garden, of course)!

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